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Player Profile: Patrick Helmes

Patrick Helmes Could Well Be Germany's First Choice Striker In The Euros In 2012.

Leverkusen have just completed the signing of young striker Andre Schuerrle, who will join the club the day the summer transfer window opens at the end of the season. At Leverkusen already, are three well established Bundesliga strikers. Eren Derdiyok, who joined the club in the summer of 2009, Stefan Kiessling, who has been at the club since 2006, and Patrick Helmes. While Derdiyok and Kiessling are reliable, hard-working squad players, they will no doubt be competing with Schuerrle for a first-team place. But Helmes, though, should not be. An awful injury ruled Helmes out of most of the 2009/2010 season, but he is now returning to full form.

Helmes was not picked for the 2010 World Cup because of a lack of playing time due to injury with Leverkusen, but will definitely have his sights set on a European Championship spot in Joachim Loew’s squad in 2012. Helmes will be competing primarily with Miroslav Klose and Mario Gomez for the striker spot in the German national team, and things look favourable for him as long as he can stay fit. Klose is getting older, and eventually his incredible knack for finding the back of the net will fade away. Mario Gomez is getting very little first-team action at Bayern Munich, what with Miroslav Klose, Ivica Olic and Thomas Mueller all competing for those striker spots at the Bavarian club. If Gomez does not get a chance to impress at club level, and Patrick Helmes does, then Helmes may get the nod in Joachim Loew’s side ahead of Gomez.

Patrick Helmes banged in 21 goals in 34 Bundesliga appearances for Leverkusen during his first season at the club in the 2008/2009 season, and will be looking to rekindle that form this season at the club. Helmes’ ability cannot be questioned, and if he can find his form, he will certainly be looking at pushing Klose and Gomez for a national team place.

On Wednesday night, Leverkusen hosted Rosenborg in the Europa League group stage, and Patrick Helmes banged in an impressive hat-trick. Astoundingly, that’s already his second hat-trick of the season. His first hat-trick of the season was in Leverkusen’s very first match in the DFB Pokal back in August. If Helmes can keep his form up and keep himself fit, then he could well be Germany’s first choice striker in the future.

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  1. lefthog

    September 18, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    highly doubtful to me.
    even if he bangs 20 goals in the Bundesliga this season he has to many obstacles to overcome to be the starter for Germany.
    Helmes is a poacher. He has the best strike of any of the mentioned forwards (plus you forgot Cacau) but if he does not score he does not offer much else: not much pace, not very mobile, not that good a passer, not a good dribbler, not particularly good in the air, .

    Joachim Löw wants his striker in the middle of their attacks not just at the end of them. Helmes does not really fit into the system.

    He also has to reestablish himself in Leverkusen’s firs XI. So far he has not done that. Both of his hattricks were recorded against outmatched opposition in the German FA-Cup (DFB-Pokal) and the Europa League.

    I see him as forward number five. And when push comes to shove Jogi Löw might insert Thomas Müller or Lukas Podolski as front man should Klose, Cacau or Gomez be missing, and pluck someone from the much bigger talent pool of Germanies wide men (Marin, Kroos, Jansen, Trochowski, Marko Reus, Kevin Großkreutz, Aaron Hunt, Mario Götze – I could go on forever) as winger.

    Unfortunately for Patrick Helmes his chance to be a starter for Germany are very very slim. Though he could become a super sub for Löw since Mario Gomez has shown to be absolutely ineffective coming on as a substitute.

    • John

      September 20, 2010 at 10:01 pm

      Very well said

      Germany have the same situation up front as France did in 1998. They have poachers as you say but no striker (bar Klose who is moving on in age) who can make space for himself or create/continue the play for the others. I call it a situation and not a problem because France still managed to win the WC using their mids and wingers to score.

      • Dylan Thomas

        September 20, 2010 at 10:32 pm

        I still think Thomas Mueller is that player. He can do it all, and I think eventually he’ll be used up top for Germany. I like the idea of Kroos, Ozil and Marin playing behind Mueller in the future. I know Podolski is still definitely first choice on the left right now, but some way down the line Kroos may make that spot his own. That could be fierce. All that creativity behind such a talented finisher, and a finisher who can bring those three into play.

        • John

          September 21, 2010 at 3:18 am

          Usually when you play 4-5-1 or the variation Germany is playing now (4-2-3-1), the ‘1’ is an out and out predatory striker. Gomez, Helmes and Kiessling are supposed to be that type of player but they’ve proven not to have the quality at international level.
          The only problem with Mueller playing there is that instinctively he’s a deep lying striker / attacking mid so essentially Germany wil be playing 4-2-4 with everybody up front just passing the ball to eachother and nobody shooting till the 80th minute lol.
          I just think his talents are too important to be wasted as a poacher.

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